03 Feb 2016

President's Address for 2016

By Ben Williams ACHPER QLD President

 I hope you had an enjoyable holiday and have started the school year well. I would like to take this opportunity to update you about the significant changes afoot in our education system and their implications for you as teachers of health and physical education.

Last September, the Education Council endorsed the revised Australian Curriculum. These revisions were made in response to the Commonwealth Government review led by Professor Ken Wiltshire and Dr Kevin Donnelly. Health and Physical Education (HPE) was one of the learning areas endorsed and improved in this process. Version 8.1 of the HPE curriculum for Foundation to Year 10 is now available on the Australian Curriculum website,

Responsibility for implementing the Australian Curriculum now rests with each state and territory. Queensland’s Education Minister, Kate Jones, has asked the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) to advise her how the curriculum should be implemented in Queensland and when implementation should begin. Over the coming months, the QCAA will consult with key stakeholders about these matters.

Many excellent resources are already available to help you prepare for the new curriculum, even though an official start date has not yet been set. The QCAA’s Australian Curriculum in Queensland (ACiQ) resources for HPE are among the best. I encourage you to familiarise yourself with these resources if you have not already. They are freely available at the QCAA website.

The second major change underway is the development of a new system of senior assessment. The State Government initiated this process following a recent Australian Council for Educational Research review (you can view the report recommendations here.) This year, the QCAA will convene expert writing teams to create new syllabuses for Senior Health Education and Senior Physical Education (PE). These syllabuses will incorporate a new assessment model consisting of one external and three school-based tasks. Students entering Year 11 in 2018 will be the first Queenslanders taught the new versions of these subjects. The scale and scope of these changes promise to be the biggest since the creation of the two subjects in the late-1990s.

This year, Senior PE teachers in Rockhampton and on the Sunshine Coast will continue participating in a trial of the QCAA’s new endorsement process. It is one of three initiatives aimed at strengthening Queensland’s system of school-based assessment. Endorsement is designed to ensure teachers use assessment instruments that meet the requirements of the syllabus and provide students with sufficient opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do.

As ever, ACHPER QLD stands ready to support you. In 2016, we will run professional development workshops, seminars and conferences around the state. We will also provide you with opportunities to tell us what you think about the changes I have outlined. As the professional body representing you and your learning area, agencies like the QCAA ask us for our feedback through their stakeholder reviews and advisory groups. Telling us what matters to you and how changes like these affect you helps us promote the interests of HPE as best we can in these fora. It also helps us ensure we provide you with the support you need do your job as well as you can.

So, I wish you all the best for the 2016 school year. I trust you will find it rewarding and fulfilling. I look forward to seeing you at one of our many events and hearing from you if you have any comments, questions or concerns.

Dr Ben Williams - President, ACHPER QLD

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